DCPL wants your Opinion on The Future of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library

MLK_Exterior View small
Rendering via DCPL

From DCPL:

“The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, located at 901 G Street NW, will have a major renovation and overhaul to meet the current and future needs of D.C. residents. Forty years after opening its doors, DC Public Library is now in the initial phase of exploring what’s possible for this historic building, and what makes a spectacular central library.

The renovated library will have books and other library materials and services for children, teens and adults including seniors and people with disabilities. The library will have space for meetings and events and will feature the latest technology. It will continue to have space devoted to D.C. history, including D.C. African American history.

As part of the design process, the Library is asking residents to share what combination of services, activities and technologies they would like to see in their new central library.

Learn more and share your ideas here.”

9th and G St, NW

18 Comment

  • Idea #1: make area not smell like urine.

    • Problem is they’d end up going with a lowball bid from Urban Urine Solutions, LLC to make the area smell minty fresh, but in the end, it would only end up smelling like a mint julep made out of hobo pee.

  • Tear it down and start over!

    • Not gonna happen. It is a building by a famous architect so unless something is so structurally wrong to the point it is condemed it it is gonna stay.

  • area needs streetscaping for sure… don’t just build the green space on the roof.

  • Thats it? After a decade of the city harranging over this library, they decide to spend an astronomical fortune renovating the existing space and adding a floor to the building, all so the city can continue to own a urine stained maintenance nightmare?

    Sell the land for the ~70 million its worth. Let a developer “go to town” on the space. Sure, make some historical preservation and adaptive reuse aspects part of it, but DC needs this much library space downtown like DDOT needs another streetcar deadline to blowthrough. This is such a waste of location and opportunity.

  • No more pee plz

  • Let’s not forget there’s an answer to why not tear it down. It’s been declared historic. And nothing it unfortunately going to change that.

  • I hate this library. The public libraries in NYC and Boston are so fabulous and this is an embarrassment. As others have noted, it efffing REEKS of urine, both outside and inside. Such a wasted opportunity.

  • Close in the street level overhangs so it doesn’t become a defacto homeless shelter like it is now.

    • That’s actually a great idea. One of the reasons I hate this library is due to the frequent harassment I get walking by the front entrance by loiterers. Fill in those huge overhangs and you at least solve that one big problem. Though I’m sure the historical preservation folks cry foul….

  • Lose the metal detectors. Maybe someone thinks they need it, but it is so offputting to have to go through security just to get some books.

  • Does anyone else feel like a part of making the best use of this space, meaning making sure that the library functions as a clean, beautiful, useful library is making sure that there is somewhere else that provides all the other functions it is currently offering, deliberately or otherwise?

    Libraries are a public space, and as long as you have people needing a bathroom and needing to get out of the elements, the library will be used to help people meet those needs if there isn’t another place nearby where they can.

    • Except it still smells like urine outside, not just inside. There are places to go in this city for shelter. The decision to not take advantage of it is not our issue. The city needs to at least bother enforcing loitering laws on their own property.

      I don’t see these homeless people hanging out in front of the Smithsonian or urinating all over the place on the National Mall.

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